There is a lot of misconceptions around the role of police and whether the profession is an honest and rewarding career.
Understandably, the work is challenging and varied, but if you’re struggling to decide what career to follow, or have always wanted to follow a career in policing, here are just a few reasons why it’s the right choice!
- You have the chance to save lives every day
Could there be anything more fulfilling than saving lives? In life-or-death situations, the police are often one of the first teams to the scene, meaning you could be responsible for providing first aid while paramedics arrive. Although this is the worst-case scenario, there are other ways police have the chance to save lives every day.
For example, speeding tickets, breaking up fights, or removing a victim from domestic violence provides another chance for saving a life. All these situations could become fatal without interference from the police.
- Police help people make better choices
A huge part of police work revolves around supporting and advising others to make better choices. Whether it’s drug addicts choosing a different path, gang members finding an out, or those suffering with mental health issues seeking help. Police are advocates for better choices and can pave the way to a more positive life.
Vulnerable members of society sometimes just need a little kindness and respect to get back on track, which is why police officers can play an integral role in reducing crime and fatalities.
- No two days are ever the same
If you’re looking for routine, and a regular 9-5, policing is definitely not the job for you. However, if you’re looking for an exciting role where no two days are the same, it’s certainly one to consider. Every day is completely different, so there’s no room for monotony.
There’s also plenty of departments and fields to work in, meaning there’s always an opportunity to train and transition. You can move from traffic to investigations, patrol, or even working with police dogs. You could even study criminology studies to go for more managerial positions.
Those that are motivated enough can continue to explore their options and enjoy a host of unique jobs while developing a world of new skills.
- The bond between colleagues is unrivaled
As police officers, you will tackle difficult situations and experience things that others may never have to. By your side, through all of that, you’ll have your colleague. Disaster and tragedy have a way of bonding people, which is why police forces are usually incredibly strong with both professional and personal relationships.
- You’ll feel proud to serve your community
The first and foremost role of the police is to serve the community. Working in the police can be incredibly satisfying and gives you a great sense of purpose day in, day out. While each officer will have their own experiences, each person will head to bed with the knowledge that they have helped hundreds of people, and the next day offers another opportunity to do it all again.
- Compensation and benefits
Of course, another benefit of working for the police is the salary and benefits package. The BLS record that the average salary for police officers was $62,960 in 2017, with a constant opportunity for growth.
The more years in service, the larger the pay rise, too. And, as police officers tend to retire earlier, you’ll receive great retirement and health benefits – usually far superior to those in other professions.
Police can work just about anywhere. If your family needs to relocate, you should have no issue finding a new role in a different location. Similarly, while moving abroad may require a little re-training in terms of understanding different laws, having previous experience working in the police force puts you in good stead for other public safety and security roles around the world.
How to become a police officer
The application process to become a police officer will be different in every country. In Canada, the police force is recognized as one of the most efficient and reliable forces in the world.
This is partially down to the complex application process, which requires aspiring officers to undergo a number of psychological and fitness tests, as well as their police training.
The first requirement is that anyone who wants to be a police officer needs to be over 18, an official citizen or resident of their country, and you must have proof of four years of secondary education.
While secondary education is the minimum requirement, people with a bachelor’s degree can significantly improve their chances of being accepted into the force. Another way to set yourself apart from other applicants is to be fluent in another language.
At the time of receiving an offer of employment, you’ll also need to have a valid certification in first aid and CPR, as this will more than likely come in handy in your day-to-day. You can obtain these qualifications through training at your local fire department or police station.
After the first phase of the application, where you’ve filled in the required documents, you may be invited to a local field interview and background check. In the background check, employers will ensure applicants have a valid driver’s license with less than six points and no other criminal convictions. Once the initial interviews have taken place, you’ll then be required to take a fitness, psychological and written exam to evaluate you for mental ability, logical reasoning, comprehension, and basic math. It’s recommended for the fitness test that you prepare through your own training.
If all tests and checks are passed, you’ll then be invited to 24 weeks of training, from which you will be sworn in as a 4th class officer.
While the application seems tedious, it ensures only the best officers work on the force to serve the community. Passing the application is an achievement in itself.
If you’re looking to become a police officer, head to your local station and speak to the team to see what you can be doing to ensure you give yourself the best chances of success.
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